Lucerne, easy

From now on, growing lucerne is hassle-free. Seed for this high-protein forage is now available with an innovative coating, ensuring a good start for the crop and a rich harvest for you, as well as high-protein rations for your dairy cattle. The Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator® makes growing lucerne much easier.

Rhizobium, indispensable

Aided by nitrogen-fixing Rhizobia, lucerne captures nitrogen from the air in root nodules. The bacteria also ensures improved crop establishment, resulting in higher protein and dry matter yield.


The technology behind Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator® makes it possible to embed Rhizobium bacteria directly on the lucerne seed in a polymer matrix. Extra nutrients and preservatives have been added to this ingenious polymer to increase the shelf life of the bacteria. The used Rhizobium bacteria strains for the Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator® is the result of extensive selection under various circumstances. Only the bacteria strains that are perfectly able to survive under difficult conditions, are qualified for Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator®.


Major source of nutrients for plant growth

The Rhizobium bacteria on the seed are always active and close to the young roots. Nitrogen from the air, which diffuses through the upper soil level, is taken up by the root knots of the young plants and converts to amides or uric acids by the Rhizobium bacteria. Hereafter the nutrients are transported to the plant. This is the major source of nutrients for plant growth. Lucerne seed treated with this unique Barenbrug technology saves labour and increases the certainty of optimal crop establishment and a high plant yield.

How does Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator work?

Be prepared for the best results

Apart from choosing Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator®, the right soil type, optimal fertilising and correct harvesting methods will contribute to a high roughage yield.


Soil type

Lucerne thrives in well-drained soil with the correct acidity. Sandy soil must have a pH value higher than 5.5, and clay soil at least 6.0. Lucerne must not have been grown for one (in wet areas) to three (in dry areas) years. Good soil structure is advisable.

Fertilising and crop protection

Lucerne is a perennial crop. If the soil contains enough nitrogen at the time of sowing, there is no need to add extra nitrogen. Over time the crop itself will ensure nitrogen fixation from the air. Phosphate, sodium and potassium must be added based on soil analysis.


Leave the crop alone

Because lucerne is susceptible to damage from traffic, it is important to leave the crops be as much as possible. When a lucerne plant dies, it will leave an open spot where weeds can get a chance. Barenbrug lucerne seed is free from noxious weeds and scores well for nematode resistance. Disease and pest control are often easy to do with available resources.



Lucerne is mostly cut for making silage. Depending on the local climate, two up to five or more cuts are possible. In case of springtime sowing one less cutting must be taken into account. The best time for cutting is when five to ten per cent of the plants are flowering. The best cutting height is seven to ten centimeter. Lucerne is a broad-leafed crop, which means the choice of cutting machine is important. When handling is too intensive, too much leafy material is lost, at the expense of forage yield and quality.

Forage yield

In the first year the potential dry matter yield of lucerne is six to nine tonnes per hectare. For the second and following years the dry matter yield is twelve to seventeen tonnes per hectare. These figures may vary per lucerne variety and regions.


Silage quality

Lucerne is a great protein source and provides a high effective fibre content (NDF) to the feed ration.

The complementary nutritional value of lucerne and maize

  Lucerne silage Maize silage
Sugar (g/kg DM) 5 10
Starch (g/kg DM) 0 320
NDF (g/kg DM) 475 380
NDF - Digestibility (%) 58 53
Crude protein (g/kg DM) 190 70
Energy for milk (MJ NEL) 5.2 6.7

The values may vary according to circumstances. Source: CVB.


The 7 proven benefits of Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator

Do you want to know more about the benefits of Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator®? Read it here!